My mom came into town and I wanted to do something different with her – so we decided on heading up to La Conner, WA and Edison, WA to shop, dine, and relax at a bed and breakfast before heading back to enjoy Seattle and Bainbridge.
We left Seattle around 10:30 a.m. and first headed past La Conner by a few exits to Chuckanut Drive, headed to Edison, Washington. Edison is this tiny town – population 133ish – that is known for being a bit artsy. While small, there are actually quite a few dining and drinking options in Edison.
We chose the Rhododendron Cafe, known to the locals as the Rhody. The cafe is in what looks to be a converted house (maybe a farmhouse?) and has a cosy feel. We sat in the front room, but the seating area was quite big and they even have a screened-in porch if you want to be outside and safe from the rain.
We arrived at about 11:30 a.m. a bit before the lunch crowd to an empty restaurant. After waiting a few minutes, my mom went towards the kitchen and let them know we were here. After that, we were sat promptly.
The menu was a mix of Northwest and ethnic fare. On special that day was a beet salad (made with local beets), topped with greens, prosciutto, and goat cheese. It was a perfect balance of salt from the cheese and meat and sweet from the beets. We also each ordered the peanut soup, which was a peanut curry soup with chicken and rice. It had a touch of heat to it and a lot of flavors.
Both meals were delicious and I would highly recommend the Rhody. If you have a sweet tooth, they have a bakery next door with huge cinnamon buns, and other yummy pastries.
Next, we drove into “downtown” Edison and hit the shops. There are about 7-10 or so shops, each with a different type of feel. The most notable shops were the Lucky Dumpster, an eclectic mix of new, vintage, and crafts; Shop Curator, a shop with a lot of random types of art, sculptures, and jewelry that you won’t find anywhere else; and Hedgerow, an upscale boutique with beautiful jewelry, essential oils, perfumes, textiles, and more.
Edison is very cute and not too far from Seattle, making it a good day trip. There are a lot of restaurants downtown, including a wine bar and a pub. Another attraction nearby is Taylor Shellfish Farms, where you can buy fresh oysters and shuck them yourself at the picnic tables. The locals also told us that the Edison Bird Festival was not to be missed, as well visiting near Christmas to see the street festively decorated.
On our way back to I-5 on Chuckanut drive, we stopped by the cutest store ever. Sweeties on Chuckanut is a small stand alone candy shop with a carefully curated selection of candy from your past, and your favorites from now. The prices were very reasonable, too. The shop owner helped me make a cute gift bag full of delicious chewy candies (and the old fashion button candy) to bring back for my boyfriend.
La Conner, Washington
Our room, room 104, was on the first floor King room and featured a fireplace, flat-screen (the B&B has a lot of DVDs to borrow if you’re in the mood for a movie), and sitting area. Also, the B&B uses Aveda soap and shampoo, which is one of my fav hotel soap brands.
We were also provided with over-sized towels, bath salts, and plush robes…Why? Because our room, room 104, featured an outdoor jetted soaking tub on the deck. (Random romantic gesture with my mom, funny, I know, but it was the least expensive room in La Conner that weekend.)
After we checked in and got settled, we went to First Street to shop. We went into pretty much every shop in La Conner, which is a lot of shops. If you’re looking for home decor, jewelry, kitchen goods, lavender, clothing, etc., you may just find it in La Conner. I will say that we didn’t find anything spectacular that we had to have, per se, but it was fun to browse the shops and spend that time with my mom.
After shopping, we stopped at the grocery store to pick up champagne and cheese and then chilled for a little bit before heading to dinner. After looking at the local menus, we decided to try the restaurant recommended by our B&B.
The Oyster and Thistle was just an 8 minute walk from the B&B. The upstairs is a traditional sit-down dinner, and downstairs is a bar with a few booths and an outdoor patio. We decided to sit downstairs at the bar, as it was more our style (the full menu is available downstairs, too).
I got a scotch to drink and my mom ordered a fancy basil and cucumber cocktail. We both had the French onion soup – which was absolutely delicious and served nice and hot – and we split the salmon. The salmon was also very good and was served with a side of greens (with an amazing light dressing) and fingerling potatoes.
It started drizzling and we walked home in the drizzle and fog. We got back to the hotel at about 9:00 p.m. and decided it was time to check out the outdoor hot tub. It was there, so we might as well use it, right?
I filled up the tub and got in, and it was actually huge. We could have fit three people in. My mom popped open the bottle of champagne and we set up the bubbles and cheese at the edge of the tub.
We did keep hearing rustling in the bushes, which freaked us out a bit, and every now and then the winds would turn and we’d get a strong whiff of manure from the farm behind the deck. It wasn’t unpleasant like you would think, it just added to the farm vacation effect.
And after the soaking tub, we were exhausted and it was time to go to bed. Plus, breakfast is served between 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. at the Wild Iris, so we had to get up early.
The next morning we got up and headed to the breakfast room for the breakfast part of our B&B. I don’t eat mushrooms and mentioned that upon check-in and everyone was very accommodating to my picky needs (even though breakfast that day didn’t include mushrooms – thankfully).
Our first course was yogurt topped with fresh berries and granola. It was served with a side of homemade bread that tasted maybe of oatmeal and cinnamon? Our second serving was a savory frittata with tomato, Parmesan, greens and a bruschetta sauce (which I had served on the side). I was quite surprised at how good the breakfast was, and how large the portions were. This was sure to keep us filled for the day.
La Conner has a lot of other great restaurants and cute places to stay. Our restaurant runner-up was Nell Thorn (on the water) and our B&B runner-up was The Heron Inn and Day Spa. And of course in the spring, La Conner is ground zero for the tulip festivals.
We checked out of the hotel early because our next stop was to explore Deception Pass. It’s about a 20-minute drive to the bridge, and we stopped near the bridge to watch the water swirl and check out the views. This is such a beautiful spot and the weather was cooperating perfectly.
Some fun facts about Deception Pass, it was named by Captain George Vancouver in June of 1792 due to Spaniard explorers mistaking the currents for a river to the east, and thinking it was a bay (they thought Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands were not islands, but peninsulas).
Mount Vernon, Washington
We had a few Seattle Ciders and shared a shot of Fireball to add to our cider. (My mom never takes pic and she actually took the picture below of me with ciders…. )
If you’re a Seattleite hosting your parents, what are your must do and sees? Let me know in the comments below, send me a Tweet, or comment on Facebook.